Just as more and more European countries are trying to ban or block sites like The Pirate Bay, it seems like a few more politicians should take the time to read the new EU study on digital competitiveness
(found via P2P Blog
). In it, the authors study the question of paid content and "pirated" content, and find that an awful lot of people have absolutely no interest in paying for content, no matter what -- and that the entertainment industry is exaggerating the impact of things like file sharing, since so few people would actually pay for the content in the first place (even if it weren't available for free). Rather than blaming "piracy," the report properly notes that it's a shift in technology (from atoms to bits) that has created the business model problems today:
creative content distribution is shaking up the business models of the creative industries, with
both potential opportunities and potential losses and bringing new players into the media
It goes on to point out that the answers to these questions aren't going to come from lawsuits, but by recognizing how people (especially younger generations) view such things and putting in place business models that work. Still, the report does hedge in places, talking about the need for a "favorable regulatory environment," though it's not at all clear what's meant by that. But it's good to see a gov't report recognizing this is really a business model (and technology) issue, rather than a legal problem as many in the legacy entertainment industry would have you believe.